ar15

Velocity Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) Trigger

  Velocity Triggers has come out with a new trigger in their MPC (Marksman Performance Choice) line. This particular trigger is for pistol caliber carbines (PCC) that use AR15 trigger assemblies. I am a big fan of the original MPC trigger. I have also become a fan of the PCC trigger. They informed me at SHOT 2019 about the new trigger, so I requested one for review.

  The PCC trigger has the same features of the original MPC line. Probably the most notable is the ⅜” wide trigger shoe. Besides being wider than the average trigger shoe, it is available in a wide assortment of shapes and colors. This time I asked for a green flat, grooved, with finger stop shoe. I also have a curved radiused and flat radiused that can be swapped on in place of the original shoe. Yes, different shoes are available and can be installed on the trigger assembly. No more being stuck with a single shoe design. Additional shoes can be purchased individually. The shoe attaches with an allen screw. One big advantage to this attachment style is that the shoe can also be pivoted. I have mine pivoted just slightly so that the pad of my finger sits flat on the shoe. 

  Since a PCC functions differently than a standard AR, Velocity designed the trigger differently. The most notable difference is how the hammer is designed. It has a definite curved shape to it with more material. The disconnector is also slightly different. When laid out next to one another, it is easy to see the differences. Standard AR triggers don’t always work in the PCC”s. This is because the bolt has so much more mass. The mass can cause a standard trigger to bounce off the disconnector and cause a double fire. I’ve had this happen with non-pcc triggers. The Velocity PCC trigger does not have this problem. It has ran flawlessly for me.

Standard trigger on left, PCC trigger on right

  Velocity triggers’ have great trigger pulls, and the PCC is no exception. The PCC trigger has a pull weight of 4lbs and is non adjustable. When I measured it, it was an average of 4lbs, so it is consistent. As with all their triggers, it has zero creep, a smooth break, and positive reset. Along with that, there is also very little overtravel. Part of the reason the trigger has such a nice feel is that they Nickel Teflon coat the internal parts. This nickel teflon provides a superior resistance to wear, corrosion and friction. So to say it again, the PCC trigger has an excellent trigger pull. The trigger will also work with standard caliber AR’s.

  As an added bonus, Velocity sent some extras also. They sent a 3-hole Sentinel trigger guard in green. The Sentinel is made from aluminum and has more room for gloved hands. Also in the package was one of their new “Wicked” extended magazine releases. It looks like a face with straight teeth. When you see it, you’ll get the idea.  

  I used the PCC trigger in a standard AR lower. This lower usually runs a Stern Defense Glock mag adaptor, but I also used an ENDOMAG. The trigger functioned great with either system. I had zero failures to fire and zero double fires. I would say that’s a win. Purposeful double and triple shots were very well controlled also. 

  This PCC trigger is impressive! It did everything I wanted it to. If you are looking for a PCC trigger, or any other AR drop in trigger, go give Velocity Triggers a look. They keep impressing me with their products

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

4lb single stage Pistol Caliber Carbine trigger

Target Market:

PCC shooters wanting a good trigger

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 4lb trigger pull

  • ⅜” trigger shoe, various shoes available

  • Drop in

  • Nickel Teflon coated

  • Made in USA

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Different Shoe designs and colors

What others are saying?:

Nothing found

Link to other reviews:

None found

Price point:

MSRP = $189.95

I need it now! Availability:

Velocity Triggers or Black Bag Resources

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Crisp break

  • Tactile reset

  • Different trigger shoes

  • Drop in

  • Nickel Teflon coated

  • Designed for PCC’s

  • Made in USA

Cons:

  • Only available in 4lb pull

  • Writing on trigger

Score: 8.50 Great

85.jpg

Favorite Link:   Radian Weapons













Odin Works Ragna Forend

  Our friends over at Odin Works have another forend on the market. It is called the Ragna. When I was looking for a 15” handguard, I remembered that they had come out with the Ragna at SHOT 2018. When I contacted Odin, they sent it right out for a review. I received the M-Lok version, but a Key-mod version is also available.

  As with the Odin Works O2 lite handguard I reviewed earlier, the Ragna is also really light. When one first picks up the package that the Ragna comes in, you really can’t believe there is a 15.5” handguard in it. It weighs 10.35 ounces complete with the barrel nut and hardware. One reason it is so lightweight comes from a large quantity of organic shaped cut outs. These cutouts give it a unique look also. 

   Mounting up the Ragna is pretty easy also. If you have installed a barrel on an AR, then you can do this. Take your old handguard and barrel nut off first, if it isn’t a new build. Put some of the supplied Vibra-tite on the upper receiver threads. Take the supplied barrel nut and tighten it to 50 ft-lbs. Install the gas block and tube. Then slide the forend on. Line up the top rail with your receiver and tighten the two set screws. Then tighten the three clamp screws. You now have a new Ragna forend installed. I really liked how easy this handguard installed. The top rail lined up perfectly with the upper receiver’s rail.

  As with most handguards, the Ragna is made from aluminum. They use 6061-T6 aluminum and then hard coat anodize it black. This gives it the same durability and finish as the upper receiver it is installed on. It also has 2 full length M-lok slots at 3 & 9 O’clock. These M-lok slots are out at the front of the handguard. M-lok slots also run the full span of the 6 O’clock position (or as I call it, the bottom). It has no top M-lok slots because the Ragna uses a full length picatinny rail. I personally have a love/hate relationship with full top rails. I like the looks of them, but feel like I only need a little rail section at the front and back. 

  The Ragna is also loaded with other features. The first one that comes to mind is the quick connects at the front and rear. Three of them are in the front at 3, 6, &9 O’clock, and two in the rear on either side. Being a long handguard, it has a lot of flex out at the muzzle end. This flex really only causes a problem if you sling up and are using some sort of sight on the front of the rail. I say “some sort’ because it could be an iron front sight, a laser, or something else. The rearward sloped angle, at the front of the handguard, is also very well thought out. It doesn’t have any sharp edges or angles for things to get caught up on. Most low profile gas blocks will fit inside the rail. It has an inside diameter of 1.35 inches, so other accessories might fit underneath also, especially if you are one to like longer than barrel length handguards. 

  I had expected a good performing handguard from Odin Works, and the Ragna did not let me down. The diameter isn’t too large or too small for me. I was able to get a good grasp on the rifle. The odd cut out shapes also dig into your hand to allow for a good non-slip grip, but not so much as to be uncomfortable. Most people don’t need attachment slots down the full length of the forend, and I am one of those. So I like only having the 2 M-lok slots at 3 & 6 O’clock, should I choose to mount up a light or other accessories.

  Odin Works has done a nice job with the Ragna. I really like the looks and functionality. Having to not index a barrel nut is a huge plus also. If you’re in the market for a new forend, check out the Ragna. It is available in 12.5”, 15.5”, and 17.5” versions.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

15.5” lightweight handguard

Target Market:

Those wanting a lightweight freefloat handguard

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Free floating

  • Type 2 Hard Anodized

  • One piece barrel nut that is Black Nitride coated

  • All mounting hardware included

  • Continuous top rail

  • Made from 6061-T6 aluminum

  • Inside Diameter: 1.35"

  • Outside Diameter: 2.02" Tall by 1.52"

  • Key-MOD or M-LOK available at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock

  • All .750 ODIN Works gas blocks fit inside 

  • Weighs just 10.35oz installed (including barrel nut)

  • Made in USA

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

12.5” and 17.5”

What others are saying?:

Ryan H. @ Odinworks.com 5/5 stars

Clean fit

Fits clean and looks amazing. Couldn’t be happier

Link to other reviews:

Nothing found

Price point:

MSRP = $179.00

I need it now! Availability:

Odin Works or Black Bag Resources

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Really lightweight

  • Good feel in the hands

  • M-lok slots

  • Top rail

  • Front/Rear quick connects for sling swivels

  • Made in USA

Cons:

  • Flexes

Score: 8.50 Great

85.jpg

Favorite Link:   Axelson Tactical



The Mag Feeder

  As a shooter, we all sometimes want easier magazine loading. Welcome to The Mag Feeder. I am not one to typically use magazine loaders, so there is that. But with lots of them on the market, this AR15 magazine loader is a little different. Manufactured by Six Axis Development. I can’t remember if I contacted them, or the other way around. Either way, the sent me one for review.

 The Mag Feeder is very well thought out. The first notable feature is the USGI magazine catch. Yes, the same one as on an AR15. This keeps your magazine locked in place while using the loader. Now, as with everything now days, it is made from a chemical resistant polymer. So you don’t have to worry about destroying it from gun lube or cleaners. It also folds up for storage and ease of transportation. Last up is the neat little slider that does the actual work.

 Loading the Mag Feeder is pretty self explanatory. First unfold it so that it lays flat. There is a magnet that holds it in the folded position. Lay it on a flat surface. Slide a magazine on until the mag catch latches. Throw some 223/556 or 300 Blackout rounds in the loader. Or put them in the little load slot toward the top. Organize the shells so they all point the correct direction, they will not go in the wrong way. You can also take out the pusher block and load them in from the top. Once all the rounds are in the loader, slide the “pusher block”  down and the magazine is now loaded. Then, of course, push the mag button and pull the loaded magazine out. Now go shoot.

 Now we know how The Mag Feeder is suppose to be used, I’ll tell you how I use it. I basically just pour a bunch of rounds into the body of the Mag Feeder. Then I straighten them out. I only need to use the “loading port” for the last few rounds. So it is pretty quick, and really easy to use. I tried it on a bunch of different magazine styles, from USGI to Pmags and they all worked fine. The pusher block is also held at the top of the loader with a magnet, actually one of the same ones that keeps the loader folded. This is nice because it doesn’t fall out. But if it does, it will only go back in one direction.

 There are lots of things to like about The Mag Feeder. Ease of use, of course. It also has marks for how many rounds are in the loader, well at least by 5’s and up to 30. This is nice if you want to load a 20 round magazine for example. I have one dislike about the Mag Feeder. It doesn’t stay open. I would have some sort of catch made to hold it open. When you pick the loader up off of a table, it just folds partway. I also like how it will fit in a double magazine pouch. Because it folds, you can stick it in an ammo box, or most soft case side pouches.

 The Mag Feeder is staying in my range bag. I am very pleased with how it works, and it can save your thumbs. If you need an easy way to load AR15 magazines, this might be a good option. Six Axis was also kind enough to send a .30 cal ammo can and some .223 ammo. That was a plus that I didn’t expect. Go check out The Mag Feeder and maybe some of their other products while you’re there.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Foldable 30 round AR15 magazine loader

Target Market:

AR15 users who want easy loading of magazines

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Made in the USA

  • Safe for hands and magazine lips

  • Folds in half for portability

  • Magnetic operated to keep closed in your bag/box

  • Magnetic pusher block to keep from falling out

  • Works with all AR15/M4 magazines

  • Chemical Resistant

  • Allows for easy inspection of rounds prior to shooting
    Securely grabs on to the magazine

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

None

What others are saying?:

Nothing found

Link to other reviews:

Some Youtube videos, but that’s it

Price point:

MSRP = $59.99

I need it now! Availability:

The Mag Feeder

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Easy to use

  • Quick

  • USGI Mag catch

  • Folds and stays closed

  • Fits in double mag pouch and ammo cans

  • Capacity markings

Cons:

  • Doesn’t lock in open/use position

  • Price

Score: 8.00 Great

80.jpg

Guntec 9mm Bolt Carrier Group

 I was in the process of putting together a pistol caliber carbine or PCC for short. So of course I needed a bolt. I contacted GunTec USA since they had recently come out with a 9mm bolt. They were kind enough to send one out for review, along with a 9mm compensator for the same build. I have reviewed other GunTec products in the past with good results.

 This review will probably be on the shorter side, after all it is a bolt carrier group (BCG). The GunTec 9mm BCG has a very nice QPQ Nitride finish. This makes cleaning a little easier than a standard run of the mill Mil-Spec BCG, plus it looks nice. Another function of the Nitride finish is it’s smoothness, if that’s a word. When I installed the GunTec BCG, it cycled very smoothly. This could also be due to the fact that the exterior machining on the bolt is top notch.

 The GunTec bolt has pretty much all the features one would need for this type of BCG. It has a roll pinned in weight to add mass. This makes it possible to run a standard weight buffer in your recoil system. The bolt is heavy at almost 15 ounces, but this is needed for the straight blowback style action used in most 9mm PCC’s. I did run into a small problem that was probably my OCD. Where the gas key block is located, right behind it on the bolt, was a little raised area. When I cycled the upper by hand, you could feel it drag against the buffer tube, but only right at full extension of the charging handle. It however did not cause any wear or problems during use. I smoothed them out so I felt better. Other than my OCD, the bolt has ran flawlessly using the Stern Defense mag block and all different types of glock magazines. The gas key bolts are staked in. They could be a little more, but since it is really only there to manually cycle the firearm, I didn’t pay much attention to them. The BCG also uses an external extractor. A big plus if you actually shoot enough to wear it out.

You can see here where I polished off the small lip.

Same lip on bottom of bolt. Neither top or bottom lip actually affected function.

 I am not sure how many round that I have out through the BCG. But it has not failed me so far. I would estimate around 700-800 round through it at the time of this review. I have ran it with three different AR15 triggers. A mil-spec, a KE arms, and a Velocity. All worked well. The Velocity was on the light side of the trigger pull weight, so I took it out and am currently running the KE arms trigger with good luck.

 If you are in the market to assemble a pistol caliber carbine, take a look at GunTec. PCC’s are an economical way to practice. This 9mm BCG will do both styles of receivers. It has given me no problems and is made right here in the U.S.A. Go take a look at GunTec USA, they probably have everything needed for a PCC.

 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

9mm AR bolt for Glock or Colt style magazines

Target Market:

Those building a pistol caliber carbine

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Compatible With Glock & Colt Style Lower Receivers

  • MIL-SPEC 8620 Steel

  • External Extractor

  • Dust Cover Compatible

  • Total Weight : 14.9 Ounces

  • USA Made

  • Fully Heat Treated

  • QPQ Salt Bath Nitride Finish

  • 1 Year Warranty

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

In Nickel Boron

What others are saying?:

None found at time of writing

Link to other reviews:

None Found

Price point:

MSRP = $159.00

Retail = $135.99 at OpticsPlanet

I need it now! Availability:

GunTec USA or OpticsPLanet

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Drop in installation

  • External extractor

  • Nitride coated

  • Works with Colt and Glock style magazines

  • Works with standard AR15 hammers/triggers

  • Made in USA

Cons:

  • Slight raised lip by gas key

Score: 8.00 Great

80.jpg

Favorite Link:   Brothers & Arms


Stern Defense Mag-AD9

 

 Stern Defense has introduced a magazine block for standard AR-15 style rifles. 9mm converted AR’s are excellent for cheaper practice. Stern Defense was kind enough to send their AD9 magazine block. This product converts a regular AR-15 lower to accept Glock 9mm and 40 cal magazines. One will still need a complete 9mm AR upper, with a Glock style bolt, to work with the magazine block.

 The Stern Defense AD9 is probably one of the nicest magazine blocks around. It is beautifully machined and engineered. Made from 6061 aluminum, hard coat anodized, with some steel and plastic parts where needed, it should last a lifetime. The built in feed ramp is also NiB coated to help smooth out the transfer of the round from the magazine into the chamber. I also noticed this makes the feed ramp easier to clean. I ran various types and weights of 9mm through the AD9. All of them fed reliably, even my 124gr Gold dot hollow points.

 Installation of the magazine adapter is super easy. I used a standard forged mil-spec receiver. First, if new, just insert the adapter into the magwell, like you would any standard AR magazine. Push it until the standard magazine release clicks back out, just like the standard AR magazine. Now, on the bottom of the Stern Defense magazine block, are 3 screws. Take the supplied allen wrench and tighten up the gib screw, while pulling down on the adapter. The gib screw is the larger set screw toward the front of the adapter. What this does is force the gib (plastic piece at the front of the adapter) against the lower receiver’s magazine well. Then lightly tighten the other 2 smaller set screws until they touch the lower receiver. Now you are done with the hard part.

 This AD9 insert is great. I am using a Guntec USA BCG, which is cut for both the Glock style and Colt style, just for your info. Every magazine I have tried fed reliably. All the magazines drop free with a press of the magazine release. Now, the magazine release on the AD9 is a push forward type. Located if front of the trigger guard. All you have to do is push it forward with your trigger finger, and the magazines drop free. It took me a little bit to get the hang of this, but once I did, it works very nicely. If you try and hit the regular magazine release, it does absolutely nothing because of the mag block being wedged in with the gib. I used Glock, Magpul, ETS, and Amend2 magazines, all worked great, as mentioned above. Since the magazine release is only on the right side, left handed people will have to find a different way of releasing the magazines. I did find that if you push the magazine release with your left hand thumb, you can kind of strip the mag out, similar to an AK. I would love the magazine release to be ambidextrous and larger so that I don’t miss it when reloading quickly. Speaking of quick reloads, the magwell is also slightly beveled to help with the insertion of magazines.

Left hand using magazine release

 Some people may not see the purpose in a magazine block. I must admit, this thought has gone through my head before also. But, if you have a SBR, and want to run a short 9mm setup, a mag block allows someone to do this without having to pay another $200 tax stamp on a dedicated 9mm lower. Or if you are fortunate enough to have a full auto m16, you can convert it to 9mm with the AD9!

 I almost forgot to mention. The Stern Defense AD9 has last round bolt hold open. And it worked with all my magazines. It pushes up on the regular AR bolt release. So there is no need to learn any new aspects to your training, at least as far as the bolt release goes. The ejector is also part of the magazine adapter. Replacement ejectors are also available from Stern Defense.

 Stern Defense has made a great product. It is expensive, but worth it in my opinion. So if you think a magazine block might be for you, go check out Stern Defense.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Magazine block to convert standard AR-15 lowers to 9mm Glock magazines

Target Market:

Those wanting a 9mm carbine on a standard AR-15 lower receiver

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Constructed from 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum.
  • NiB coated feed ramp.
  • Hard coat anodized type 3.
  • Sturdy Construction.
  • Ergonomic mag release.
  • Works with all generations of Glock magazines.
  • Works with any mil spec ar15 lower receiver.
  • All gun components besides the Bolt and Barrel remain stock

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Beretta 92, M&P, and M&P .45ACP

What others are saying?:

4 / 5 stars at Brownells

RELIABLE
Building a 9mm AR Carbine on a budget can quickly become an expensive endeavor if you buy unreliable parts. The AR-15 9mm Conversion Adapter for Glock® Magazines by STERN DEFENSE Is a reliable way to use Glock magazines in a Mil-spec lower. I use it for USPSA PCC division and Steel Challenge matches to keep the feel of an M-4 and for training. I’ve personally tried other methods and this system is far superior. The feed ramp angle on 9mm is critical for proper function and reliability, with the vast array of projectile profiles. So far I’ve had luck with multiple types of 9mm projectiles I.E. Winchester 124gr FMJ, 145gr RN Bayou, and 147gr FP/HP Berry’s. The last round Bolt hold open is somewhat unnecessary for PCC, however, is great to feel the weight transfer of the bolt carrier group and buffer and have it lock on the last round. The only feature that I dislike is the magazine release is located at the bottom of the unit which is not a big deal if your state allows “standard capacity” magazines. However, I’d like index the same magazine release in the same configuration of an AR series firearm, which would be difficult without permanently modifying the magazine. Overall a great product the moment you open the package you can see that a lot of thought went into its development and manufacturer.

Link to other reviews:

OutlivetheOutbreak.com

Price point:

MSRP = $179.99

Retail = $179.99 at Brownells

I need it now! Availability:

Stern Defense or Brownells

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Easy Installation

  • Last round bolt hold-open

  • Beautifully made

  • Magazines drop free

  • Bevelled magwell

Cons:

  • Price

  • Magazine Release is not in the standard location

Score: 8.50 GREAT

85.jpg

 

Favorite Link:   GunTec USA

Velocity Triggers MPC (Marksman Performance Choice) Trigger

 

 I have been trying to get my hands on a Velocity trigger for some time now. It finally happened when they sent me their new MPC (Marksman Performance Choice) trigger. Velocity Triggers has been making cartridge style triggers, for the AR platform rifles, for awhile now. They are based out of Phoenix, AZ and their triggers are 100% made in the USA. 

  The MPC trigger installs much like any other AR cartridge style trigger. With the exception of the trigger shoe. First remove the old trigger parts. Which includes removing the pistol grip and taking out the safety. Now you can drop in the MPC without the trigger shoe on it. Yes, I said it, without the trigger shoe. As one big feature of the MPC is the changeable shoes. Install the trigger pins, tighten up the two side screw on the trigger cartridge with the supplied allen wrench. This puts pressure on the trigger pins and keeps them from wandering out. Now that the trigger is in, Take the other supplied allen wrench and install the trigger shoe to the little nub sticking through where a standard trigger would be. The new trigger shoe has a little bit of twist built into it. What this does is make the MPC shoe pivot slightly left to right on the trigger shaft. This way it can be set for personal preference and then tightened down. One can install the shoe with the trigger guard on, but I found it easier to remove, or pivot the trigger guard out of the way. Once the safety and grip are reinstalled, check the trigger for proper function.

 The straight smooth with finger stop, is the trigger I received. The finger stop is just a little hook, on the bottom of the flat trigger, that helps keep your finger from sliding down and rubbing on the trigger guard. Velocity Triggers has multiple options for trigger shoes and colors. The smooth triggers are also radiused across the shoe, from left to right. This makes for a very comfortable feel. If you don’t like smooth with a radius, they offer a serrated (grooved trigger) also. I felt the serrated ones, and the are nice also,  just not my cup of tea, I do know people who like the serrated over the smooth. Now along with the textures, you can also get curved or straight (without a finger stop). Oh, and all are available in a number of colors. One really nice feature of the MPC, is the availability to buy extra trigger shoes for a whopping $14.95 each. All of the options, as well as the purchased trigger, use a ⅜” wide trigger pad. This is a little wider than a stock trigger and much nicer.

 Now that I’ve bored you with everything, I’ll get into how it feels. Velocity has two different pull weight options, a 3 or 4 lb pull. I received the 3 lb one. It measures right at 3 lb’s on my trigger scale, and does it consistently! I thought 3 lbs was going to feel heavy, but that is not what I found with the MPC. It has nearly zero takeup. I can’t even see any, yet alone feel any. So when shooting, one just applies pressure and the trigger just fires. The break on this MPC is fantastic and super crisp. There is a slight bit of over travel, yes slight, but hardly noticeable. Then there is the reset, strong and very tactile. I really liked the crisp reset. Some other triggers I’ve used can be somewhat mushy, this is definitely not the case here. The MPC is a single stage trigger, if you hadn’t figured that out yet. Because the MPC uses a different style of trigger shoe, the trigger reach is longer. I liked the longer reach as it placed my finger more on the pad, and less on the knuckle. If you have a really short trigger reach (think children) it may not be the best option. If you are looking for a super fast trigger, the MPC might just be it.

 I have shot lots of rounds through this trigger. Even used it with my .22lr conversion. It has enough hammer energy to have reliably fired the .22lr rounds and anything else I ran through it, including steel case 5.56. The MPC feels exactly the same as it did new. I mention this because some other triggers I have used felt better after using them for awhile. I attribute the “feel” to the hammer and disconnector being plated in NP3. NP3, by Robar, is a Nickel Teflon coating that creates low friction and high wear resistance. Either way, it performs well.

 If you are looking for a new trigger for your AR style rifle, look into the Velocity MPC. I was really surprised at how well I like this trigger. Plus the added benefits of a longer reach and wider shoe make it feel much better than your standard trigger. Even though the price is a little higher than I would like, I think it is acceptable for the quality and options the MPC has. If you are in the market for an AR trigger, the MPC from Velocity Triggers might be the ticket.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

⅜” wide AR trigger with changeable shoes

Target Market:

Anyone wanting a better AR trigger

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • ⅜” Wide Trigger Shoe

  • Different Trigger Shoe’s available

  • 3 lb pull weight

  • Drop in installation

  • Crisp trigger break

  • Short reset

  • MP3 Coated

  • Made in USA

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

4 lb, Curved, Straight, Smooth, Serrated, Red, FDE, OD, Pink, or Blue

What others are saying?:

Nothing found

Link to other reviews:

Nothing found

Price point:

MSRP = $189.95

Retail = $172.99 at Brownell’s

I need it now! Availability:

Velocity or Brownell’s

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Changeable trigger shoes

  • ⅜” wide

  • Long trigger reach

  • Radiused

  • Short pull

  • Short reset

  • Easy installation

  • Finger stop

  • MP3 Coating

  • 100% made is USA

Cons:

  • Only available in 3 and 4 lb configurations

  • “Velocity Triggers”  writing on trigger

  • Price

Score:  8.5 GREAT

85.jpg

Favorite Link:  AR 15 Podcast

"The Grater GenII" Muzzle Brake

 Trojan Firearms sent me one of their “Gen II, The Grater” muzzle brakes when they sent the straight trigger that was reviewed earlier. Trojan is probably more noticeable for their pistol caliber carbines and California compliant rifles. This muzzle brake is the same one that they install on their “1776” rifle. This muzzle brake was supplied for review.

 The Grater is a nice looking muzzle brake. It has a Black Nitride finish, so it should hold up for a long time. Trojan manufactures the brake out of 4140 steel and it is threaded ½-28. It has 3 chambers to help mitigate the recoil impulse, in which it does a wonderful job. It also comes with an aluminum anodized jam nut, so you can index the brake wherever you like without having to use a crush washer. The jam nut concept is not new, but it does work, and since it is aluminum, you won’t have to worry about messing the threads up.

 More important, is the fact that it has 10 tuneable ports. 2 on top, 2 on each side at 90°, and 2 on each side at 45°. These ports are threaded 6-32 and have set screws that can be installed or taken out. The screws bottom out so that you can’t screw them into the bullets path. With these screws, one cane tune the brake for particular ammo or if they primarily shoot right or left handed. It does take some patience to get it dialed in, but the results are worth it. Say your recoil impulse moves the gun up and right. Just remove one of the 45° screws, on the side of the movement, and shoot it again. If it moves a bit left, start by removing one of the left side 90° screws. Hopefully you get the picture.

 As I mentioned earlier, The Grater does a wonderful job mitigating recoil. Even before “tuning” it to my ammo, I could tell a difference over the previous brake that I had on the rifle. I set up some targets at around 25yds to do some double taps on. At first the rifle moved a little bit up and right. After a little time spent messing with the screws, I think I pulled out a 45° and a 90° screw, it now shoots super flat. Double taps can be done as fast as I can pull the trigger and the sight picture barely moves. As with all true muzzle brakes, it does have the flaw of being extremely loud.

 I think Trojan Firearms did an overall good job when making the Grater GenII. It does what a muzzle brake should, and has the added benefit of being “tuneable.” Yes it is not some fancy titanium, or have some space age looks, but it also won’t break the bank at $79.99. Go take a look at Trojan Firearms, they make an effective brake, if not other stuff one might like.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Tuneable muzzle brake

Target Market:

3 Gunners, shooters, or anyone wanting to reduce recoil

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 1/2-28 thread.

  • BLACKNITRIDE™ protective finish.

  • 4140 Carbon Steel.

  • Ten position 6-32 tapped gas ports for fine tuning.

  • Three Baffle chambered system engineered for optimal recoil reduction and muzzle control.

  • 3/4 wrench required for muzzle brake, 11/16 wrench for jam nut.

  • included jam nut 6061-T6 aluminum with black hard coat anodize

  • 0.860” outside diameter

  • 2.75” length.

  • Made in USA

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

None

What others are saying?:

Nothing found

Link to other reviews:

Nothing found

Price point:

MSRP = $79.99

I need it now! Availability:

Trojan Firearms

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Tuneable

  • Effectively reduces recoil

  • Jam nut

  • USA made

Cons:

  • Loud

  • Takes some time to tune

Score: 8.00 Great

80.jpg

 

Favorite Link:   Freedom Flag Products





 

Brigand Arms Forearm Review

Written by: Michael C.

I’ve always been a function over style type person.  When I first saw the Brigand Arms handguard I thought it was stylish, but not very functional.  It looked like under heavy firing it would get hot because it was so wide open the heat from the barrel would radiate to the shooters hand.  

When I took the Tactical Performance Center Multi-gun class we were told to bring a wrap or glove because the rifle forearm would probably get very hot due to the large amount of fast shooting we would we be conducting.  During the three-day course, the forearm on my Armalite 3-gun rifle did get warm but not so much that it bothered me.  After this experience I thought the Brigand Arms would really get too hot to handle.

The lack of a rails didn’t bother me as those are only needed on a “tactical” rifle to mount lights, lasers, grips and bottle openers.  This is not a rail that one would choose for that application.  It just looked cool.

After hearing a positive review of the Brigand Arms handguard on the We Like Shooting podcast and the AR-15 podcast on the Firearms Radio Network  I thought I would give it a try. But first I had to see if Brownell’s carried the Brigand Arms handguard.  I’ve been a Brownell’s customer long before I started reviewing gear.  The customer service has always been excellent, and they have the best website in the business.  Has a bonus Brownell’s has the Forever Guarantee - no questions asked return policy.  So, if I don’t like it or decide I don’t want it, I can return it. And has an Edge member I don’t pay for shipping!  Including returns!

When the package arrived, I thought the box was empty because it was so light.  I opened the box and there was my new woven carbon fiber handguard!  I ordered the fifteen inch “Blade” version.  I think the Blade version really adds to the unique design of the handguard design.  The Blade is angled at the front and because of the mounting system you can run the angle however you like: long on the bottom, short on the top; long on the top, short on the bottom; or anywhere along the 360 degree radius.   

Unpackaging the forearm I was reminded of an issue with woven carbon fiber – loose fibers.  I caught a loose fiber in my hand, like a wood splinter.  I took a break to remove the foreign body from my finger and then put on my welding gloves.  I ran the gloves over the handguard to remove any loose fibers I imagine you could do the same thing with a shop rag, just make sure to throw the shop rag away when you are done.  This is not a negative against the Brigand Arms handguard, it’s common to all woven carbon fiber products, just part of the required pre-installation: wipe down the handguard.  Please note I have taken the rifle out five times since I mounted the hand guard with no more splinter issues.  There are three parts in the package: handguard, barrel nut and cinch nut.  The barrel nut is aluminum and appears to be similar to the YHM barrel nut, and the cinch nut appears to be similar to the YHM jam nut.  This is smart outsourcing by Brigand Arms, use off the shelf items to cut cost.  This is a smart move by Brigand Arms to lower the price of the handguard.  And since this is one of the pricier handguards on the market anything that can be used to lower costs while maintaining quality is a smart move.  Like Scrooge McDuck said, “Don’t work harder, work smarter.”

To start the installation I put a dap of release agent on the barrel extension on my custom order 18 inch, light profile, rifle gas system, 1-7 barrel I from Columbia River Arms and inserted it into a Vltor MUR upper receiver.  I really like the Vltor because I have yet to find one out of spec.  They look like billet, but they are forged and a little thicker than a mil-spec upper.  Next, I put a dap of LocTite 242 (blue) onto the threads of the receiver and tightened the barrel nut to the recommended torque of 34 – 40 foot pounds.  Next I installed the Brownell’s black nitride gas tube mounted to a JP Enterprise  AR-15 2 piece detent adjustable low profile gas block. The gas tube runs through the barrel nut so it’s important to make sure the barrel nut is aligned properly.  If the tube doesn’t fit through the nut keep tightening it a little bit at a time until it freely aligns with the gas key on the bolt carrier group.

Installing the handguard was very straight forward.  Like installing a YHM handguard.  In fact, Brigand Arms recommends on their FAQ web page to use the YHM handguard wrench to install the handguard.  Alternative ways are to tighten the cinch nut is with a spanner wrench, strap wrench or give the cinch nut a tap with a flat head screw driver.   I had a spanner wrench on hand and I wrapped the areas that might mare the finish with duct tape.  I was unable to get adequate torque on the cinch nut to keep the handguard form turning.  I made a quick trip to my local gun store Cobra Tactical (one of my sponsors) and asked Eric if he had the YHM handguard wrench.  He was kind enough to loan me the tool, so I could finish the build.

With the upper assembled I headed out to the range.  One of the first thing I noticed was how easy it was to access the adjustable gas block.  All too often the handguard must be removed to access the adjustments to the gas block, then reinstalled and you hope you have it adjusted properly.  

The test and evaluation for this upper was actually for five new parts: Brigand Arms handguard, Columbia Arms Barrel, UM Tactical RAGE muzzle brake, JP Enterprise low mass bolt carrier group and JP Enterprise silent captured spring recoil system, and Geisslle charging handle.  After getting everything tuned up (I will cover these items in a later review) I laid the handguard on a sand bag to check the accuracy of the build.  Awesome is all I can say regarding the accuracy of this build.  I was pleasantly surprised at how solid the handguard was on the rest.  No flexing or torquing while shooting off the sand bag. The sand bags at the range are the heavy plastic and I was surprised to see no melting or deformation from heat of the barrel to the bag.  Inspecting the handguard, I could not see and deformation or wear marks on it.

Next test came the test for what I thought would be the problem, heat radiating from the barrel through the hand guard.  I did a series of speed and transition drills without pause.  I finished with two 30 round magazine dumps.  Surprisingly the handguard never became too hot to handle or uncomfortable to hold.  Another surprise was how quickly the barrel cooled.  Just has the Brigand Arms stated in their interviews on the Firearms Radio Network because of the lack of surface area on the handguard the barrel cools quickly.

I’ve been able to take the rifle to the range five more times and even practiced dumping the rifle into a USPSA box and 3 Gun Nation barrel.  No damage to the handguard.  The handguard is a little larger in diameter than some other handguards but still fits well in the hand. The woven pattern of the hand guard makes for a good gripping surface. I practiced holding the handguard in different positions, all were secure, and it was easy to control the weapon.  

Brigand Arms makes three models of the woven carbon fiber handguard: Blade, Edge and Atlas.  The Edge is like the Blade but with a flat front.  The Atlas is like the Edge but adds a four short picatinny rails at 3, 6, 9 and 12 positions at the front of the handguard.   If you want to add rails Brigand Arms handguards, they are prepared for you.  You can purchase rail sections and add them wherever you want on the handguard.  Brigand Arms also sells M-Loc panels you can add anywhere to the handguard.

Overall, I am very pleased with the Brigand Arms handguard. It is performing better than I imagined it would.  The handguards are expensive, $259.00 to $414.00, but they are worth it.  Brigand Arms has added AR-10 DPMS-Hi style handguards to their shop.  I will be buying one of these for a light weight AR-.308 build.  I’m expecting the same outstanding performance from the .308 models.

Brigand Arms are innovators and I look forward to seeing other products they bring to market.

FIREARMS INSIDER REVIEW – 8 KEY POINTS


CLAIM TO FAME:

Lightest handguard available

TARGET MARKET:

Modern Sporting Rifle users who want a light weight unique handguard.

FNBS (FEATURES & BENEFITS OF THIS PRODUCT):

  • Lightweight

  • Easy installation

  • Unique look

  • Adds in barrel cooling

  • Off the shelf mounting hardware

  • Ease of access to adjustable gas blocks

WHAT OTHER AESTHETIC OPTIONS OR FINISHES ARE AVAILABLE?

  • Three different styles

  • Four different lengths

  • Available for AR15 and AR10 (DPMS)

  • Bare carbon fiber

  • Handguard can be Cerakoted

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING?:

Coolest and most interesting product at SHOT Show

LINK TO OTHER REVIEWS:

Brigand Arms website - Reviews

PRICE POINT:

MSRP:  $269.00 - $414.00

I NEED IT NOW! AVAILABILTY:

Brownells or Brigand Arms

OUR RATING:

Pros:

  • Easy to install

  • Lightweight

  • Feels good in the grasp

  • Looks wicked cool

Cons:

  • Expensive

  • No continuous rail on top

 

SCORE:  9.0 EXCELLENT

90.jpg

Tripwire Charging Handle

 

  AR 15 charging handles are really a dime a dozen. So when I run across something innovative, I have to try and review it. SinterCore is just the company doing that. They have introduced an ambidextrous charging handle called the "TripWire." It happens to be of the extended type with some cool features.

  After receiving the TripWire, I had to look it over. The reason for this is because it does not have your standard style moving latch. Instead it has a 3D printed carbon filled nylon latch. But what makes it innovative? Well, the latch is on a hinged pin with a spring and the handle/handles do not move or pivot. So all that one has to do is pull straight back on the handle. No pulling a latch or lever to unlock it, the latch just unlocks itself. The rest of the handle is 7075-T6 aluminum and hard coat anodized with some grooves cut in for better grip.

  One might wonder how reliable this design can be, I was. But as I have used the TripWire, I found it to hold shut just as well as any other charging handle. The handle does take a little more force at first to cycle the bolt. This is because you have to overcome the spring pressure holding the charging handle from moving. I also slammed my unloaded AR against the floor numerous times to see if I could get it to unlatch, I couldn't. And while doing this I could hear the bolt moving, so it passed my hold closed testing.

  I really like the design of the TripWire. It is lightweight, quality machined, and even 3D printed. Plus there are very few moving parts. Sintercore also told me that if I wanted a lighter weight spring to unlatch the charging handle, they could send one out. I thought it was fine and don't want the chance of the lighter spring making it easier for the charging handle to come unlatched. If you are looking for something other than the standard AR15 charging handle, give the Tripwire a chance.

  

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

AR15 ambidextrous extended charging handle with no latch to manipulate.

Target Market:

Any one with an AR15 that doesn't like the tiny stock charging handle.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Extended

  • Lightweight at 1.0 ounce

  • Ambidextrous

  • 7075-T6 Aluminum

  • Hard Coat Anodized

  • Carbon-filled Nylon 3D printed latch

  • 2.52" wide 

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Black is it.

Link to other reviews:

The Firearm Blog

Price point:

MSRP = $65.00

I need it now! Availability:

SinterCore

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Ambidextrous

  • Extended

  • Lightweight

  • Quality Machined

  • Essentially latch free / Straight pull design

Cons:

  • Will not fit AR10's

  • No option for diverting suppressor gas

Score: 8.0 Great

 

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Saddle Butte Machine Gun Shoot

Hexmag Advanced Tactical Grip

  The Hexmag grip comes from the same company that brought us Hexmags. All of the Hexmag products I have seen come with a hexagonal pattern in them, thus the name. The pattern also adds a degree of flare to the looks of their products. 

  With the Advanced Tactical grip, you get this hexagonal pattern on the sides of the grip. And some raised straight lines on the front and back. But the big advantage to the Hexmag grip is its adjustability. One can choose 3 different positions or angles in which the grip sits. These are 17, 25, and 33 degrees. The setting are set up to help with different uses. The 17 degree is stated to help with AR pistols or close duty work. While the 25 degree is your standard AR grip angle. Leaving the 33 degree for a more relaxed shooting position, giving it more of a standard rifle stock feel. I found that the 25 degree position worked best for me. I guess that is why it was designed that way. 

  Now onto installation and adjustment.  The installation is very much like any AR pistol grip. Except that the Advanced Tactical grip has 2 parts. The first part holds the safety selector detent spring. It slides on as normal. Now you are left with the grip and the mounting screw. Both the grip and the mounting piece have large gear style teeth on them. Just put the screw through the handle and start tightening it as normal. Before it gets tight, position it on one of the 3 angles.  There are 3 locator lines on the back of the grip by the beavertail. These select which angle, just line them up and tighten the screw.  

  After using the grip for a while, I found it to be extremely smooth. Meaning that it was hard to get a good grip, and this was with dry hands. Hexmag sells grip tape that is cut to fit into the hexes, I would highly recommend this. I took it one step farther and stippled inside some of the hexes and also the front and rear of the grip. Besides being slick, having the option of adjustability is pretty nice. After I installed the grip, I was curious how the mounting system would hold up. Well it held up to me beating on a 2x4 with it. It didn't slip to one of the other positions, which I thought could happen. 

  If you are in the market for a new grip to enhance your AR rifle, look into the Advanced Tactical grip by Hexmag. But if you do decide to get one, get their grip tape or have it stippled. I liked the adjustability,  and now that it has been stippled, it is a nice grip

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Adjustable AR grip with cool hex pattern 

Target Market:

AR users looking for an aftermarket grip

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Hex pattern
  • Adjustable angles
  • Beavertail
  • Sturdy  

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Black or FDE

What others are saying?:

Nice Grip 

Monte at Wise Tactical 5/5 stars

This Pistol Grip fit on my AR with no problem. It has a great feel to it and I really like that you can adjust the angle of it. It looks awesome on the Rifle, especially with the Hexmags.

Link to other reviews:

The Firearm Blog

Shooting Illustrated 

Price point:

MSRP = $27.99

Retail = $23.99 on Amazon

I need it now! Availability:

Amazon or check your local retailer

Our Rating:

Pros: 

  • Adjustable grip angle
  • Sturdy mounting system
  • Beavertail
  • Price

Cons:

  • Poor grip (slick)  
  • Has no storage inside grip

Score: 7.0 Good

 

Chad's favorite link: Saddle Butte Machine Gun shoot May 21 & 22, 2016

Hipertouch 24C Trigger

The Hiperfire Hipertouch 24C for the AR15 is a multi-adjustable competition trigger system. It is a single stage trigger with a flat face and/or a trigger shoe. Hiperfire has been manufacturing AR triggers for a while now. The 24C is one of their flagship models. This trigger has been designed for competitions like 3-gun. It also would work well for varmint rifles.

The Hipertouch comes with 3 different pairs of springs. These springs adjust trigger pull weight and hammer fall energy. They come in blue, yellow, and plain. Blue springs are for medium trigger weights and stock hammer energy. Yellow are for light/medium weights and standard hammer energy. And then there are the plain springs. These are for a light trigger pull and Increased hammer energy, they also give the fastest lock time. This spring system is unique. When manually cycling the hammer you can feel it toggle over center. It basically pulls against the trigger spring to help reduce pull weights but still remain safe. I assume this also helps with lock time. I tried the different springs and ended up going with the plain ones for the lightest pull weight.

Along with the different springs, the 24C comes with a "Hipershoe". The hipershoe is a trigger shoe that can be positioned in any of the 5 different locations on the flat trigger. It is slightly curved and much wider than the trigger itself. The 24C does not require the hipershoe, and if not used, it is just a flat faced trigger (no curve whatsoever). Adjusting the hipershoe is pretty easy. It just slides up and down on the trgger and locks in place with a kind of detent system. With the shoe in its lowest detent, one will get the lightest trigger pull and the expense of a tiny bit of creep. With the shoe in the top detent, one gets an ever so slightly heavier pull weight, but with no noticeable creep. The pull weights vary between around 2lbs to 4.5lbs depending on what springs are selected and what position the hipershoe is in.

Installation on the 24C is not as easy as some drop-in style triggers. But it is not extremely hard either. Hiperfire sends some good instructions to help ease the installation pain. If you are not confident doing it yourself, just take it to a gunsmith and have it installed, they probably won't charge too much. First, of course, you must take the old trigger out. Then you take the trigger/disconnecter and install it like you would for a standard AR trigger. You can then slide the hipershoe on it (if you want it on). After that, intall the hammer just like normal. Now it gets a little more complicated, as you have to install the toggle shafts, pivot, spindle, and springs (mentioned above). I won't go into that, as the instructions do a great job. An extra hand might be advisable. After all of that, safety check it and go have fun.

This trigger is fantastic! It is super smooth, crisp, with a light pull weight. I have used it for 3-gun and target shooting. It has performed flawlessly with all types of ammo, including steel cased and .22LR with a conversion kit. When target shooting, the crisp pull and fast lock time makes for a great experience. If you are in the market for an aftermarket AR trigger, go look and see what Hiperfire has to offer. I don't think you will be disappointed.

 

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points:

Claim to Fame:

Precision single stage adjustable trigger for the AR-15 platform Target Market: 3-gun, competition, varmint hunting, target shooting, and anyone looking for a really good trigger for an AR

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Adjustable
  • Hipershoe (wide curved trigger shoe)
  • Increased hammer energy
  • Increased lock time
  • Flat face trigger
  • Single stage

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Essentially the same trigger but with a curved bow and no Hipershoe: 

HiperTouch 24 3G

What others are saying?:

By JustinInATX: 5/5 stars on Amazon

Best trigger I own. Just installed this on a high-end AR 308 build and it runs like a champ! It slams down with authority, twice as powerful as any other trigger I own. I've encountered a few light strike with my CNC 3.5lb trigger, but that's not even a possibility with the HiperFire. Great Product! Only gripe, I don't like red, please offer the finger rest in different colors.

Dan: 5/5 stars at Brownells GREAT TRIGGER RIGHT OUT There are several unique things about this trigger. First it includes a trigger shoe with it. The second being the hammer has an extra spring with it that acts sort of like a piston giving the hammer some extra power. For starter, everything about this trigger is amazing. I never really bought enhanced single stage triggers and always used the standard single stage trigger. My other builds have a two stage trigger which I like but I had one build that I wanted to keep as a single stage. The hardest part about the standard mil-spec trigger for me is the reset after you fire. It makes the trigger feel jerky because you don't know when it's going to reset so your finger is bouncing all around. Doing a slow fire with a single stage is a bit hard too because the trigger has a little bit of roughness before the hammer falls. Overall the hiperfire 24c removes the jerky pull of a single stage and allows for a smoother reset. It also gives a consistent reset so you can keep your finger on the trigger all the way. This trigger comes with three sets of springs to put in the piston behind the trigger. Hiperfire calls it light, medium-light, and medium. It gives no description as far as what the pull weight is in lbs. The best I can tell from reading the instruction is that light = roughly 3.5lbs, medium-light = roughly 4.0 lbs, and medium = roughly 4.5lbs. I put in the medium blue springs in since I wanted the heaviest weight to pull. It fits me perfectly and doesn't feel unsafe for me. Also of interest is the trigger shoe that comes with this. It is adjustable and allows you to consistently put your finger in the same position each time. It also allows you to get extra leverage as far as pulling. Personally I don't know what to make of the trigger shoe or how long it'll last on the trigger before it breaks or comes off. However, without the trigger shoe, the trigger looks like any flat bow trigger out there. Overall very good trigger. I highly recommend looking into this if you're in the market for a single stage trigger.

Link to other reviews:

Four Guys Guns

We Like Shooting

Price point:

MSRP = $235.00 

Retail = $235.00 @ Brownells

$220.95 @ Amazon

I need it now! Availability: AmazonBrownells

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Adjustable
  • Crisp break
  • Good reset
  • Flat bow with Hipershoe
  • Fast lock time
  • More hammer energy
  • No over travel

Cons:

  • Slight creep when the Hipershoe is at the bottom of the trigger bow

Score: 9.0 Amazing

Yes, that is a 9. 0